Ernest Orahood, 96, long-time resident of La Junta, Colo., passed away Saturday, March 9th, in Roswell, after a brief illness. He is survived by his daughter and son-in law, Kathy and Bob Sabin, their children Michael and his wife Maria and son Andrew of Chattanooga, Tenn.; and Michelle Pettit and her husband Mike and their children, Marc, Jordin, and Julie of Roswell. Ernie’s wife, Ruby, and his four siblings — Carolyn Burt, and Harley, John, and Bob Orahood — all preceded him in death.
Ernest Orahood was an elementary school principal in La Junta for 40 years, and received countless awards for his outstanding contributions to the educational system and to thousands of grateful students. After transforming barren schoolyards into park-like settings at his three grade schools, and building three greenhouses to facilitate students’ study of plant life, the community named a large sport park “Orahood Park” in his honor.
Following retirement, he turned his tireless energies toward building a large historical museum complex. His life’s work of community service was honored by Colorado’s Governor Owen, who presented him with the prestigious Colorado Cares Centennial Award for a lifetime of service to Colorado, his community, and its citizens.
His family wishes to give special thanks to Dr. Nelson and the beautiful young women of Beehive Homes who provided him with such warm and loving care.
A memorial service celebrating his life will be held at First Presbyterian Church in La Junta, Colo., on Tuesday, April 2nd at 11 a.m.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Ballard Funeral Home and Crematory. An online registry can be accessed at ballardfuneralhome.com